Yoel Romero
Soldier Of God


Injury Illness
Est. Return 5/25/2019
Withdraws from South Florida card
April 4, 2019
Romero has came down with an illness that forced him to pull out of his April 27 main event fight with Jacare Souza, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
Romero, a Cuba native, had been looking forward to fighting in front of a South Florida crowd rich in Cuban heritage, but it will no longer come to pass. Specifics of the illness remain unclear, but it was serious enough for the 41-year-old to withdraw more than three weeks in advance of the fight date. The UFC will now be left looking for a short-notice replacement to fight Souza.
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To face Jacare Souza at UFC Miami
March 7, 2019
Romero (orbital) is slated to fight Jacare Souza at UFC Miami on April 27, ESPN's Brett Okamoto reports.
Romero was originally scheduled to fight Paulo Costa on the Miami card, but with "The Soldier of God" dealing with health issues and even taking time off to compete on a reality TV show, there was always quite a bit of uncertainty surrounding the situation. Eventually, the UFC decided to pull the plug on that bout and go in a different direction, despite keeping Romero on the card. Romero took a controversial split-decision victory he first met Souza back in December of 2015. Romero won the striking battle 46 to 30 in that matchup, but Souza was able to take him down and pass guard twice. Romero eventually went on to win that bout, and didn't lose again until he met Robert Whittaker with the belt on the line. He's actually lost two of his last three fights, but those slight title-fight shortcomings were his only two defeats under the UFC banner. While both men in this one are at or near their 40s, this is by far the best non-title middleweight fight the UFC can make at this time.
Rescheduled against Paulo Costa
January 22, 2019
Romero (orbital) will take on Paulo Costa (undisclosed) at UFC Miami on April 27, Aaron Bronsteter of TSN reports.
The pair have already had their fight called off twice, first due to Romero's injury in November and then due to Costa's injury in January. They'll hope for better luck this time around. The 41-year-old Romero has lost two of his last three fights, both against Robert Whittaker. His opponent, the 27-year-old Costa, is undefeated in 13 professional fights, including four with the UFC.
Fight against Paulo Costa called off
November 7, 2018
Romero (orbital) will no longer fight Paulo Costa (undisclosed) at UFC Brooklyn on Jan. 29, MMAFighting.com reports.
Romero was originally scheduled to face Costa at UFC 230 on Nov. 3, but the bout was ultimately postponed after Romero wasn't medically cleared to fight. This time it's Costa who is dealing with an injury. Romero, who is 13-3 as a professional, is hoping to stay on the card and face Anderson Silva, though nothing has been confirmed at this point.
Could be included on UFC 230 card
September 26, 2018
Romero (orbital) is under consideration for a spot on the UFC 230 card and could face Alexander Gustafsson (hamstring) in a light heavyweight bout, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
Helwani notes that a few details need to be worked out before any fight is finalized, but the report at least suggests that Romero is progressing well from the surgery he required last month to repair a broken orbital bone. Like Romero, Gustafsson is also rebounding from an injury of his own, but has previously stated that he hopes to be back in the Octagon before the end of 2018. If the two fighters agree to a matchup, an interim and/or official title would likely be at stake.
Out for UFC 230
August 21, 2018
Romero is still recovering from surgery to repair a broken orbital bone and has withdrawn from his scheduled match against Paulo Costa at UFC 230 on Nov. 3, Damon Martin of MMANYTT.com reports.
Romero suffered the injury in his most recent fight against middleweight champion Robert Whittaker at UFC 225. The 41-year-old, who recently inked a multi-fight contract with the UFC, was hopeful that he would have fully healed by early November, but confirmed Monday that he would need about 4-to-5 more months before he feels ready to fight again. The UFC has yet to name a replacement fight to take on Costa.